Laurie Notaro's Clean Your Plate (Then Take a Picture of It) Club

Categories: Chow Bella

Laurie Notaro
Diner cheeseburger, after.

When my meal arrives, whether I'm patronizing Waffle House or a restaurant with real tablecloths, that signals to me that it is time to eat. That's the green light that lets this little cow know it's time to feed.

But in some people, that gene is apparently mutated and signals to them that it's time for a photo shoot.

I've been dinner companions with these people, those who move the plate for the best light, change the filter and the lens to capture the image pristinely -- all while the rest of us look on, mumbling "not fucking again" under our breaths while our food sheds its ripeness as we wait for the Cecil Beaton of grilled cheese sandwiches to call it a wrap.

When I was in fifth grade, I made my first tomato sandwich -- Wonder bread, tomatoes, mayonaise and salt -- that spurned a lifelong affair with tomato sandwiches that continues to this day. I once had a filet mignon at Harris' that was so lovely I couldn't stop humming. A burrito at Casa Reynoso can inspire the same reaction, if not augmented by a tiny little dance. But oddly, I do not have photographs of these dear friends, nor would I have a desire to turn the pages of my Meal Photo Memories Book back to that tomato sandwich to gaze longingly at it 35 years later, even if I did.

Why? Because I'm an asshole, but I'm not that asshole.

See also: Laurie Notaro's Eight Food(ie) Terms Past Their Expiration Dates

Officially, I am a Level Three Asshole (I will laugh at people who fall down in malls, I will tell you when you are invading my personal space, and I have no problem returning over-microwaved mini-Cinnabuns to the movie concession stand for a refund), and to advance to Level Two, I'd either have to engage in food portraiture or knock old people down in the rain. (Level One is Hitler and Lena Dunham, for the record.)

So I'm staging a revolt because I'm sick of waiting for the iPhone to be put away, and I'm sick of scrolling past the result on Facebook and I'm annoyed because really, the only reason to post a meal you are paying for is to make others jealous, and that's cruel. Food should never be used as a weapon, especially if it's covered in bacon bits and cheese sauce. Besides, what really counts is what the meal looks like after you've attacked it, because those are the true results, and as a Level Three Asshole, I know that a plate of perfect food is a beautiful virgin waiting to be sacrificed and a devoured plate of food is just as revolting as a corpse dragged from the river. Enjoy!

Laurie Notaro
Jimmy John's, after.
Jimmy John's Lunch
Was still wearing pajamas when I got hungry on this day. Made a phone call. Was, indeed, freaked out by how fast they got to my house, even considering the delivery guy knocked on four neighboring doors before mine because the painters never put our house numbers back up. Variety of sandwich is unknown. I believe they call it "a number nine."

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Scott Sandry
Scott Sandry

When will the "write interesting articles" trend kick in?

Matthew Giacomazzo
Matthew Giacomazzo

This stuff is why people are doing worse at actually communicating to each other.

Amy JayBee
Amy JayBee

dumb idea, who wants to see dirty plates?


Who wants to see pictures of food? Not me. If the pictures of dirty plates will dissuade even one Level Two Asshole from posting pictures of their dinner, I'd call it a win!

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